Be Surprised!

Two nights ago, I witnessed the most marvelous moonrise I had ever seen. 

The moon was one sliver shy of full, which only added to the rarity of the experience. 

I was driving at the time, and couldn’t stop to admire the moon or photograph it. I could only keep driving and keep marveling. 

What I loved most about the whole experience, was the surprise in that first moment I glimpsed the moon.

I wrote this poem today. I hope you like it.



P.S. The photo after the poem was taken last night (by me), the day after the Surprise Moon. Because the moon rises about one hour later each night, last night’s moon rose in the dark. Still spectacular, still surprising. 

Surprise Moon

Driving a tangle of highways 
through the slightly scary 
industrial lands, 
my car rises up on one of the many 
roadways over roadways, 
suspending me 
in a clearing of sorts,

just enough for the pastel blue sky to deliver 
on a silver platter of factory rooftops 
a gigantic luminous moon

a peach from God’s basket 
that should have fallen 
on an evergreen mountain in Maine 
not here, not at sixty miles an hour 
on a potholed road.

I shout with glee, 
things I cannot remember, 
half sentences, a child overtaken 
by delight

Nowhere to stop and pull over and marvel, 
I keep driving, heading deeper 
into the knotted roadways of the cities 
that line the Hudson River, 
stopping and squeezing and inching
through traffic

which is the oddest of gifts, 
offering me vignette after vignette 
of the urban moon, 
peeking around a warehouse, 
sitting like a jewel above a rowhouse, 
and wedged between these lofts and those.

Never has a moon been set 
this large, this orange 
against a sky 
this clear, this bright.

As I wind down the final cliff, 
the moon hovers 
like a cantaloupe-colored spaceship 
over the spires of Manhattan 
gilded by the sun just setting behind me.

Seatbelted in awe, 
I wonder, who should I tell? 
Who would care this much?

And then I wonder, 
who might care about me 
this much, enough 
to orchestrate an errand in urban traffic, 
just so I could be surprised.

Here’s the moon through my camera, last night, the day after the Surprise Moon…